bake - June 2018 - 3

editor's note

June 2018 / Issue 6


celebrating bread
Jeffrey Hamelman, who organized the American presence

At the Fête du Pain, the US participants organized a fully

at the Fête du Pain, an annual 12-day bread festival in Paris,

equipped working bakery in full view of the thousands who

France, called it "the most significant highlight of my baking

visited the hall each day. Throughout the event, more than

life" in his 41 years of baking. During the Fête du Pain in May,

200,000 people attended to watch bakers work and to buy

the Messe des Boulangers (Bakers' Mass) took place inside

their products, including thousands of school children along

Notre-Dame Cathedral on Sunday, May 6. The mass is a venera-

with their teachers. It was a great honor for the United States

tion of bread, and bakers are honored as they are brought to

and the American bakers who participated, Hamelman said,

the front seats, led by priests. Later in the mass, the American

noting the importance of this annual festival and its celebration

bakers held baskets of bread at the altar as the bread was

of bread.

blessed by the Archbishop, and then carried the baskets to the
entrance of the cathedral as the mass concluded.

The American bakers who participated included Sandra Holl,
Randy George, Christy Timon, as well as Carrie Brisson and

"Each person takes a piece of the blessed bread as they leave

Kelsey Fairfield, both of the King Arthur Flour Bakery + Cafe

the cathedral. That's pretty moving," explains Hamelman, the

in Norwich, Vermont. Hamelman, William Leaman and Jory

former bakery director at King Arthur Flour.

Downer served as the three team leaders. "It was the best
feeling to bring that experience to younger bakers and to get

It is incredibly rare that any bakers other than the French are

outside and see such an extraordinary event," Hamelman says.

part of this celebration, and "it's pretty extraordinary" that the

"The hospitality of the French was remarkable. It truly was a

United States was invited to send a team of bakers, he added.

festival and a total joining of good baking energy."

JOHN UNREIN | JUN 2018 > 03

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